Reply to Lucas & Henneberg: Are human faces unique?

Ronald Meester, Bart Preneel, Sylvia Wenmackers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper offers a response to the 2015 article of Lucas and Henneberg “Are human faces unique?” (Forensic Sci. Int. 257, 514.e1–514.e6), as well as to the subsequent popularization thereof. In the first part, we assess the probabilistic claims made by the authors and find crucial parts to be unsupported. In particular, the authors offer no probabilistic model on which to base their conclusions. Even if we disregard the errors identified in the first part, we find a troubling discrepancy between the published findings and the popular summary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-220
Number of pages4
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Facial recognition
  • Forensics
  • Match probability
  • Video surveillance


Dive into the research topics of 'Reply to Lucas & Henneberg: Are human faces unique?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this